Saturday, October 7, 2017

Borders and Bindings

This month our Island Batik Ambassador challenge is borders and bindings. 

I've just returned from teaching at AQS Quilt Week in Des Moines, IA and enjoyed meeting students and sharing a couple of my Island Batik designs as well.  So, I've put together a re-cap of special borders and bindings over the last couple of years. I hope you'll enjoy the review.

When putting a pillow together, one way to finish it is to quilt the top, then put two overlapping pieces on the back and bind it like you would bind a quilt. The overlapping pieces allow the pillow form to be put inside and you're done!

Here an enlarged Circle of Geese Pillow, pattern taken from my co-authored book "You Can Quilt!" using the Sea Salt Sandy collection and Sprinkles background.

Sometimes you get 'leftovers' from the piecing of the center part of the quilt. In my "Geese on the Run" design I had extra half-square-triangles (HSTs) when piecing the scrappy flying geese blocks. I didn't use them all, but I added them as a border on two opposing corners.

Here is my cover version that I called "Desert Landscape" using the Rainforest collection. Pattern can be ordered from my online shop (

In this Heartfelt Holiday design (an adaptation of Heidi's from Electric Quilt), I added the 'photo corners' as a way to make it look more like a photograph in an old fashioned photo album. Designing an extra element into the border can change the effect of the whole quilt. This quilt includes several fabrics from the Holiday Happenings collection.

In this runner, I pieced the 3 blocks from Chapter 8 from my co-authored book "You Can Quilt!", I then added scrappy inchies by sewing 1 1/2" strips together and then crosscutting the 'strata' at 1 1/2". Figuring out how many you need and adding them as the 'center' of the border and sashings was easy since the finished size of each block was 12". Since I started with quite a few different scraps, I had small strata sets and just tried to keep it random in putting them together. 

Here is my "Flightline" runner using mostly fabrics from the French Roasted collection and a few additional similar and coordinating colors. 

Now for some bindings....
Many quilts get lots of use and I believe will hold up better if the binding is done completely by machine.  Here is a closeup photo of the one I did using "Glowing Embers" fabrics

Here are a couple of 'faux piped bindings'. Consider the desired size of the visible piping. Cut the piping color twice as wide as you want the piping to be plus half the size of your typical binding, plus 1/4" seam allowance. The outside color of the binding will only be half the size of your typical binding plus the 1/4" seam allowance to join the outside color and the piping color. EXAMPLE: If you like to cut 2 1/2" bindings and you'd like about a 1/8" piping, then cut the piping color 1 3/4" and the outside binding color should be 1 1/2".

Love Thistle - featuring Leah Day's block print in the center and other blenders.

Orange Blossoms using "Seas the Day" collection fabrics

When binding placemats, since you are likely making multiples, it can be quite tedious as each placemat requires the final join, etc. Using a concept shared by Poorhouse Quilt Designs in their Inside Out Mat, consider adding a 'flange' on the edge of the 'border' and sew the placemat with right sides together (backing and front border), then trim tight and turn border around to the front and top stitch in the flange ditch and top stitch about 1/4" from the edge to finish it off. Here is a recent example using this concept in my Inca Inspired placemats using "Fresh Pick'ins" Collection.